Google classroom pronderings

It appears Google is taking over the world. Or at least the classroom. πŸ™‚

We learned at curriculum night at the high school last night that they are no longer using MS office for anything. Too many kids don’t have those MS office products at home and as a result can’t complete homework when not in school.

Google classroom is the way they do it now at Toronto schools. Even my 7th grader is doing most, if not all of her work, there. A friend in the UK, another in Germany, said the same…

I used to have mixed feelings about all this online activity in the classroom. Frankly, though, I think the convenience outweighs most of my previous concerns about this topic. The fact that everyone is tracked one way or another is just one of those things these days.

It can’t be helped.

Google classroom is accessible through a school-board generated email address for each kid. So if my kids have personal gmail accounts, that will not get them access to the online classroom. They have to sign in with their school email address.

Still, their addresses are comprised of first and last names which makes it very easy for Google to track them as early as grade 4 or whenever they start using Google classroom.

But I have to admit, I’m not against it, mainly for the convenience aspect of it.

I’ve always been a fan of the real time postings of things: notes, updates, revisions, group work, collaboration. Even back in the day when I worked in an office environment and everyone was sending unlabeled, undated spreadsheet revisions via email, I yearned for people to learn how to post to a server.

“Where is the latest scheduling update?” I was asked a million times. “I didn’t get an email from you.”

“I posted it to the department server, the lasted copy is always there,” I usually responded.

They were clueless and demanded an email attachment. Which then they would change and update but not DATE or sign and then re-send out via email without replacing the posted schedule on the server.

Maddening.

Most work related emails were redundant and/or didn’t pertain to me in terms of action anyway. But that part, the methods of how crucial communication was shared (via email), that was the biggest beef I had when I worked in offices.

What an inefficient way to work that was. No wonder everyone was stressed.

Today, the kids are trained to use Google classroom from an early age on. Later, they will learn how to use things like Slack (collaboration system) or similar programs to organize, communicate, update and share work. Evernote has options to do the same sort of thing, as do other programs. Most seem to have a chat option included as well so you can not only post, but communicate in real time (that is not on the phone) with the people you’re working/collaborating with.

Anyway. Just my two sense here in this ramble.

I noticed yesterday that WordPress has a collaboration/social network program called p2theme.com. It’s called a group website. This looks interesting to me and I wonder if it can be used with people who read your manuscripts (for book publishing)…

If I were to write my memoir and then invite people to read it for me, could I do it there in the group website? Does anyone have any experience with this? I’d be interested in some feedback.

Anyway, just a Friday ramble about what’s going on inside my convoluted head. Imagine me sitting on the couch, full of two cups of coffee, still in my nightgown, pondering and typing like a possessed person. πŸ™‚

Wait…I’ll take a picture.

But I’m done now and I need a third coffee…and I gotta get my day started. Off I go.

Happy Friday!

I can’t wait till Sunday when I have a day off.

26 thoughts on “Google classroom pronderings

  1. I’m also torn about Google Classroom. It seems like the kids like it and it’s easy to submit their work. But I also feel like they do a crappier job with things like presentations and essays when typing it out online, as they are all terrible typists and as a result will try to do the most minimal amount of work. I tried to teach my older two to touch type and they resisted, so I gave up. I should probably have another go at it this coming summer.

    I also don’t like the fact that I am registered as their parent, so I get a “weekly summary” from Google Classroom, one for each kid, by email. 99% of the time these summaries indicate that my child has not turned in required work, but my kids tell me 100% of the time that this is just because the teacher hasn’t updated the right forms yet. So I’ve learned to completely ignore these summaries, which makes we low-level annoyed that I continue to receive them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have that too, with the google classroom summaries emails. My son tells me the same, that the teacher doesn’t update.

      I keep a loose eye on it, have the email go to my backup address not my primary one, so I can go to it if I feel like it rather than be distracted by the daily mass emails coming in. Ugh.

      There is something to be said about writing/printing work out by hand, something to do with brain activity when the hand picks up a pen and uses it. That seems to be on the way out. In my son’s defense, his writing/printing is not very legible, so honestly, typing stuff is probably better for the teacher. But, like yours. he too does what’s expected, not what’s best, so don’t ask me…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The attitude of the schools here appears to be: Use anything as long as you can submit your work. This isn’t much of an issue for the twins yet, but the oldest boy is using Libre Office with no problems (or no problems that I am aware of).

    It’s always been a bit of a bugbear of mine when schools or courses demand a specific piece of software. A word processor is a word processor — if you can use one you should be able to use any.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I doubt they deny students the use of other software as long as they end up submitting in google classroom which is how the middle and high school teachers appear to want work submitted. I don’t know if it’s mandated by the board…please don’t get me started about the board. 😐

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Our school system (where I work) uses all Google Classroom and docs, etc. It’s really collaborative in that you can save a spreadsheet with all of the info – and share it with everyone. Then you can all simultaneously open it and make changes, etc. You can also tell the document to let you know if anyone changes it. So you get an email whenever something happens. It’s way better than the old (as you said) “The latest version is posted…”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I use Google Docs but they still need to do the hard work themselves or use Grammarly.com to proofread or microsoft word and then read aloud to hear and see if their writing makes sense. I wonder about math teachers. Old fashioned work in the front and demonstrate.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hah.
      To be fair, I am not in google classroom although teachers sometimes invite parents. I don’t want to be. I did enough years of school work in my life, no need to be intrinsically involved in theirs. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Our kids are using a mixture of stuff at school – some Office 365, some Google. The junior school has already gone full-google. Not sure about the senior school. I think they are pushing kids to have laptops with the MS Office suite. Microsoft are slowly losing the hearts and minds battle, which is

    Liked by 3 people

      1. There’s not a lot of love for MS office products here in schools. Teachers are pushing google and there doesn’t seem to be any choice but I’m not seeing any debate either.

        I think ultimately parents are just happy there’s less paper coming into the house. πŸ˜ƒ

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Times they are a changing. So much has changed from the days of chalkboards and mimeograph machines and landlines. For the better in communicating and learning and working. My first newspaper reporting job out of college, I typed my news stories on a manual typewriter. A typesetter then typed my stories into an over-sized computer of sorts which would spit out the printed stories. We’d run the printed stories through a glue roller and then physically cut and paste them onto paper lay-out pages. I’m so thankful those days are history and I compose on the computer.
    We use a collaboration system with one of the publishing companies for which I freelance. Great tool.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I understand that’s the way the world works now but having your child’s full name out there sounds scary to me…..with all the technology I hope they have some way to protect things from hackers.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I had some serious mixed issues with the kids’ school and the access to Google classroom. For the most part, it is an awesome resource and obliterates the excuses of “I left my homework XX (school or home)” The flip side of this, and something we had to deal with when it came to OC, is that because they have to allow access to Google, their hands are tied about blocking any non-school related access. OC used that loophole to access areas he had been blocked from at home to set up other accounts he wasn’t supposed to have (there is a huge story tied to that, but this was an ugly problem). The only option we had as parents was to have the school block him from any online access and he would have to do all work on paper or just accept it wasn’t something that we could stop. Neither were workable options.

    Sadly, it wasn’t just the Google stuff. So much of what they do in school is online today, including research for papers and watching videos to go along with a lesson, that too many doors are left open for the more determined students to access. This is amazing for the students that just do their work, but massively problematic for the student that wants to do anything and everything BUT their work (if not worse).

    Liked by 3 people

  9. My daughter used google classroom through school. It was actually a brilliant way for them to communicate homework and share ideas. I use google docs for my own writing, and my daughter uses it for writing cause it’s easy to share. I know nothing about the wp thing though…

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Two points of interest –

    1) Kids learn there ABC’s at school, everything else at home. If a child is leaning in the wrong direction, it is up to the parent to redirect. If you let Google raise your child, then you get what you asked for: an unemployed 32 year old living in your basement. Not sure how convenient that is.

    (2) Pen and paper are available everywhere in the world.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Google isn’t doing the work, it’s just logging and sharing it. πŸ™‚

      Homeschooling is legal in Canada for people who opt out of state school methods where you can do what you want in whichever method you like as long as you meet the staye standards.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I get that, and it is pretty much here as well. Kids are not really safe in school anymore, but if anyone is relying on a programmed box to teach their kids, bad things can happen. Not to all kids, but I still think the parents are the ultimate teachers. Unfortunately, it seems many (and by many I mean lots and lots) parents are too busy with their own insecurities to even know what their kids are doing. Well, at least here in Florida.

        Liked by 2 people

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